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[fak-tuh-ree, -tree] /ˈfæk tə ri, -tri/
noun, plural factories.
a building or group of buildings with facilities for the manufacture of goods.
any place producing a uniform product, without concern for individuality:
They call it a law school, but it's just a degree factory.
(formerly) an establishment for factors and merchants carrying on business in a foreign country.
Origin of factory
From the Medieval Latin word factōria, dating back to 1550-60. See factor, -y3
Related forms
factorylike, adjective
subfactory, noun, plural subfactories. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for factory
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Then you could have stayed in the factory, and got your wages regularly every week.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • Now, how much better off should I have been if I had kept my place in the factory?

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • It is the superintendent of the factory in our village—a man rich, or, at any rate, well-to-do.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • Meanwhile, fortune had improved with Mr. Davis, the superintendent of the factory.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • But he had been cut out, and by Robert Rushton—one of his father's factory hands.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
British Dictionary definitions for factory


noun (pl) -ries
  1. a building or group of buildings containing a plant assembly for the manufacture of goods
  2. (as modifier): a factory worker
(rare) a trading station maintained by factors in a foreign country
(Canadian) (formerly) a main trading station for the exchange and transshipment of furs
Derived Forms
factory-like, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Late Latin factorium; see factor
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for factory

1550s, "estate manager's office," from Middle French factorie, from Late Latin factorium "office for agents (factors)," also "oil press, mill," from Latin factor "doer, maker" (see factor (n.)). Sense of "building for making goods" is first attested 1610s. Factory farm attested from 1890.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for factory


combining word

Place where what is indicated is done, pursued, used, etc •A jocular appropriation of the term: brain factory/ freak factory/ nut factory (1920s+)


The apparatus used for injecting narcotics; works (1940s+ Narcotics)

Related Terms

bone factory, cracker factory, joint factory, nuthouse

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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